For Global Democracy, These Are the Worst of Times, but Also the Best of Times

A Rising Tide of Authoritarianism Co-Exists With Advancing Forms of Participatory and Direct Democracy

Right now, it can feel like the worst of times for democracy. It also can feel like the best of times.

Democracy is under stress around the world from authoritarians and dictatorships—even as citizens make steady and historic progress in advancing newer forms of participatory and direct democracy, said a panel of democracy scholars and practitioners at a Zócalo/Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy event, titled “Should Global Democracy Become More Direct?”

The four panelists appeared together via live-stream from their home countries, all touching the Pacific Ocean—Chile, Mexico, Taiwan, and the …

When Does a Garden-Variety Demagogue Become Dangerous?

In 1923, Adolf Hitler Created a Fictional Persona to Recast Himself as Germany's Savior

In the summer of 1923, Adolf Hitler realized he had a problem. Germany was in the midst of an extreme economic crisis that inspired widespread feelings of disaffection, worries about …

To Defy a Dictator, Send in the Clowns

Protest Movements Can Wield Humor as a Weapon Against Oppressive Regimes

When Egyptians gathered in Tahrir Square to protest the regime of Hosni Mubarak in 2011, they brought with them a funny weapon against the guns and tear gas of the …

Latin America Is Finally Acknowledging the Crisis of Democracy in Venezuela

The New Leader of the Organization of American States Has Openly Rebuked the Country’s ‘Petty Dictator,’ but It May Be Too Late to Avert Disaster

At least on paper, both Europe and the Americas seem equally committed to being democracies-only clubs, willing to defend and preserve the rule of law in member nations. In practice, …